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Brendon McCullum stands by evidence in Chris Cairns court case

Published 09/12/2015

Brendon McCullum gave evidence in Chris Cairns's trial
Brendon McCullum gave evidence in Chris Cairns's trial

New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum says he stands by the evidence he gave at the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns.

McCullum was the prosecution's leading witness in the trial of Cairns, the former New Zealand all-rounder who was alleged to have lied in a libel action against Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi, who accused him of involvement in match-fixing.

In evidence, McCullum said he was approached by Cairns in 2008 and encouraged to become involved in match-fixing. Cairns' legal team sought to discredit McCullum's evidence by pointing out he took three years to report the alleged approach, then changed elements of his story on later occasions.

On the eve New Zealand's first test against Sri Lanka in Dunedin, McCullum faced the media for the first time since Cairns' acquittal. Few questions at the conference related to the test match; instead, McCullum was quizzed on his evidence and the fallout from the trial.

McCullum said he stood by the evidence he gave at Southwark Crown Court and did not believe his reputation had been damaged by the jury's apparent rejection of the case against Cairns.

In a column published by a New Zealand newspaper on Sunday, Cairns said he would like to ask McCullum "why did you bring all of this pain and suffering upon my family?"

McCullum said he had no plans to speak to Cairns and address that question.

"I don't think I have to do that," he said. "I was very comfortable with the evidence I gave in London and I stand by that evidence as well.

"This is not the forum to discuss this sort of thing. I don't think my reputation has been on the line, I was one of several witnesses. People have their own opinions on what unfolded but I am comfortable with it and it's time to focus on a bit of cricket now."

Mr Modi is reported to be considering a civil action against Cairns to retrieve damages and legal costs he incurred when a jury upheld Cairns' libel action. If he proceeds, McCullum faces the prospect of again being called as a witness.

One of the elements of Mr Modi's action is likely to be that the International Cricket Council was in possession of McCullum's statement about Cairns at the time of the original libel trial but did not make it available to Mr Modi, though his lawyers asked for documents pertinent to the case.

McCullum said he did not know whether he might have to testify again.

"Again, it's not the forum to be discussing that sort of thing. We'll see what happens down the line," he said.

McCullum's involvement in the Cairns trial is one of several factors overshadowing the first of two tests between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, beginning at the University Oval on Thursday.

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